Skip to the content

If done right, internship programmes can have multiple benefits, not only for the interns but also the employing institution. For the college student, an internship means getting ‘their foot in the door’ of the institution. For the company, it provides an opportunity to identify competent persons to fill vacant posts or enhance departments across the institution. 

However, the best results are only realized when the individual selected to work with the interns can not only inspire but add fuel to the flame rather than dampen it. When youthful exuberance meets experience and know-how, the exchange of ideas can bring new perspectives and often be the impetus for much-needed change in the right setting. 

For the last five years, the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL) has opened its doors to Barbados Community College and University of the West Indies students and allowed them to ‘get their feet wet’ through our annual Summer Internship Programme.

 

   

In a reality where most jobs call for prior experience, we started our programme to give the children and relatives of our staff members the opportunity to benefit from real-world work experience. To ensure no one was left behind, we expanded that reach to other eligible students who submitted Curricula Vitae. 

This year eight bright young men and women joined the company working in the Compliance Business Unit, Projects and Operational Excellence Business Unit, Policy Benefits Business Unit, Policy Services Business Unit and Technological and Business Solutions Business Unit. Six of them have joined our team armed with an enviable skillset after ten weeks of mentorship from our qualified team members. They have enhanced their soft skills such as punctuality and time management. To boot, they have forged professional networks and partnerships. 

On the other side of the coin, we gained fresh ideas and perspectives. Moreover, there is a sense of contentment after giving back to the community and building linkages with the island’s tertiary institutions. An added benefit is that we get to gauge the level of interest in the insurance related jobs and assess the competency level of graduates coming out of the education system.   

 

Across the board, the feedback has been encouraging. Jadan Bradshaw, an Accounts and Management graduate of the Barbados Community College, shared his thoughts on the programme.   

“My experience at ICBL was one of the best work experiences I ever encountered in my life mainly because I was given a chance to learn a bunch of new stuff and see how insurance works. In the process of doing that, the staff here was so welcoming and always offered a helping hand when possible.  

The staff here also offers very professional customer service. I admire that about the organization. Now that I have really gotten the chance to see what insurance is, I would love nothing but to continue at ICBL and help the organization reach its goals”. 

Similarly, Rayshon Chassang, who graduated with a Bachelor’s in management (Finance) from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill, had this to say after his almost three-month-long stint. 

“I must say that it was even better than I expected. Not only was the staff extremely helpful, but the environment was also very welcoming, which helped me to settle in nicely. During my time as an Intern, I was able to gain valuable first-hand experience in a hectic business environment in the field of work that I aspire to be in. My knowledge, skills and time management were definitely put to the test and, without a doubt, sharpened. ICBL’s Summer Internship Programme builds character, skills, confidence and direction in your career path, and I would recommend it to anyone.” 

The praise for our internship programme is by no means one-sided. ICBL’s Assistant Vice President, Compliance, Kristle Jeffers, spoke about her passion for the internship programme. 

“Working with interns is always a “no-brainer” for me. Any opportunity to expand our family and empower young people through the experience they obtain and, of course, a little spending money is not one to be missed! It is just icing on the cake when you get two great interns like Joellan and Justin. Their eagerness to work and assist greatly supported our project’s objectives. They also asked the right questions and paid attention to details throughout what could be seen as mundane work.Looking forward to continuing working with them!”

 

An internship with ICBL guarantees a solid foundation in on-the-job skills, a job recommendation from an industry leader, a certificate of completion and the opportunity to work at ICBL when the opportunity arises. Of course, the stipend is just the cherry on top.